One of the most prominent pieces of architecture in the southwest is looking to be transformed.
The Town of Gravelbourg has issued a Call for Expressions of Interest on its distinctive four-story Convent of Jesus and Mary.
Economic Development Officer for the Town, Ariel Haug, said they're searching for someone, or multiple people, to buy into the building and re-purpose it.
“It's a really amazing building,” she said. “You don't see structures of that size. Of course, there are lots of old brick schools in Saskatchewan, but this one is over 75,000 square feet and four floors.
“So, just in terms of architectural significance, it’s quite a prominent feature as you're coming into Gravelbourg from the south or from the west; you can see it on the horizon. And that was actually the intention of the architects, was for you to see it sort of rising up on the flat prairie.”
The National Historic Site of Canada was built in 1917 and 1918, when most able-bodied men were off fighting in the first World War. Two wings were added nine years later, on either side of the main structure, both three stories tall.
While it was used as a convent up until the ‘70s, it was then purchased by the Gravelbourg School Division and housed a kindergarten to Grade 12 school until 2015. The property has always been used for education.
“It's a beautiful site and it's deserving of a second life,” said Haug. “And with the right amount of investment that's certainly possible.
“The most important thing here is finding another use for the building. And that's why the EOI is in place: for council to be able to screen perspective buyers’ concept for how to use the building."
Tours are still running weekly through the historical building, including an Escape Room. The Expression of Interest Document can be read here.
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